UAB, Highlands Hospitals earn A’s on patient safety

UAB and Highlands Hospitals are among only 7 hospitals in the state, and the only ones in Birmingham, to earn an A grade for patient safety.

UAB HospitalAjoomla and UAB Highlands Hospital have earned an A grade on patient safety from the Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade, a public service of the Leapfrog Group. Only seven hospitals in Alabama earned an A grade. UAB and Highlands were the only Birmingham hospitals to receive an A.

The organization rated approximately 2,600 hospitals across the nation, using national performance measures from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Leapfrog Hospital Survey, the American Hospital Association’s Annual Survey and Health Information Technology Supplement and other secondary sources.

Leapfrog uses a 10-person panel of public safety experts from across the country to produce the grades. The panel examined 28 measures of hospital safety data and determined the weight of each measure based on evidence, opportunity for improvement and impact.

UAB and UAB Highlands hospitals received the maximum safety scores in a number of categories, including staff handwashing, computerized medication ordering and staff collaboration to prevent errors.

Leapfrog also reported that both hospitals received maximum scores in effective leadership, qualified nursing and specially trained intensive care physicians. Communication, responsiveness, overall safe practices and infection control were also cited as strengths at both hospitals.

“Patient safety is of the utmost importance, and UAB Medicine has taken innovative steps to maintain the highest possible safety standards,” said Loring Rue, M.D., UAB Hospital chief medical officer. “Our Magnet nursing designation, Partners in your Care program and fall prevention team are just a few examples of our efforts that have created an enterprise wide culture of safety.”

UAB is part of the national Surgical Care Improvement Project and has participated in the CDC’s National Healthcare Safety Network for several decades.